New York State Civil Service Law.

Is there a way to fight the New York State Civil Service Law regarding age discrimination in Law Enforcement? I realized that back in 1996/97 New York did away with the law but apparently Law enforcement is exempt from age discrimination?! Please advise me regarding possible solutions or areas of personal research sources. Thank you!

1 answer  |  asked Oct 10, 2003 12:32 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
USing Age as a Selection Criteria

I am not exactly sure what statutory provisions you are talking about, so I'll give you a more generalized answer. (In any case, this forum is for general information only. If you want authoritative opinions on specific situations, you need to hire an attorney.)

Public and private employers can legally use age as a selection criteria under two circumstances: 1) if age is a bona fide occupational qualification; and 2) if age is a reasonable surrogate for testing some other qualification.

The first might be best illustrated with a show-biz example. Suppose you are producing a show which requires people of various ages. In that case, age is a bona fide qualification.

For the second, there can be cases where an employer knows that job candidates have to have certain abilities. There may be direct ways for testing for these abilities, but these alternative means may be complicated, costly or otherwise burdensome. But, scientific research shows that there is an easy, though not fool proof, way to address the need: looking at a person's age. Court's don't like employers doing this, but employers can get away with it if age looks like a reasonable way of dealing with real concerns.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Oct 10, 2003 10:38 AM [EST]

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